The central questions of this book are how technologies decline, how societies deal with technologies in decline, and how governance may be explicitly oriented towards parting with ‘undesirable’ technology.
Surprisingly, these questions are fairly novel. Thus far, the dominant interest in historical, economic, sociological and political studies of technology has been to understand how novelty emerges, how innovation can open up new opportunities and how such processes may be supported. This innovation bias reflects how in the last centuries modern societies have embraced technology as a vehicle of progress. It is timely, however, to broaden the social study of technology and society: next to considering the rise of technologies, their fall should be addressed, too. Dealing with technologies in decline is an important challenge or our times, as socio-technical systems are increasingly part of the problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequalities and geo-political tensions. This volume presents empirical studies of technologies in decline, as well as conceptual clarifications and theoretical deepening. Technologies in Decline presents an emerging research agenda for the study of technological decline, emphasising the need for a plurality of perspectives.
Given that destabilisation and discontinuation are seen as a way to accelerate sustainability transitions, this book will be of interest to academics, students and policy makers researching and working in the areas of sustainability science and policy, economic geography, innovation studies, and science and technology studies.
The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.
1 Introduction: The relevance of technologies in decline
Zahar Koretsky, Harro van Lente, Bruno Turnheim and Peter Stegmaier
2 Dynamics of technological decline as socio-material unravelling
3 Destabilisation, decline and phase-out in transitions research
4 Conceptual aspects of discontinuation governance: An exploration
5 Discourses around decline: Comparing the debates on coal phase-out in the UK, Germany and Finland
Jochen Markard, Karoliina Isoaho and Linda Widdel
6 Mapping the territorial adaptation of technological trajectories: The phase-out of the internal combustion engine
Daniel Weiss and Philipp Scherer
7 The role of alternative technologies in the enactment of (dis)continuities
8 Caring for decline: The case of 16mm film artworks of Tacita Dean
Dirk van de Leemput and Harro van Lente
9 Implementing exnovation?: Exnovation ambitions and governance complexity in the case of the Brussels Low Emission Zone
Ela Callorda Fossati, Bonno Pel, Solène Sureau, Tom Bauler and Wouter Achten
10 Phase-out as a policy approach to address sustainability challenges: A systematic review
Adrian Rinscheid, Gregory Trencher and Daniel Rosenbloom
11 The end of the world’s leaded petrol era: Reflections on the final four decades of a century-long campaign
12 Conclusions and continuations: Horizons for studying technologies in decline
Zahar Koretsky, Peter Stegmaier, Bruno Turnheim and Harro van Lente